Outerwear Combos for All Sorts of WeatherPosted by Whole Earth | 01.20.2022
Outerwear Combos for All Sorts of Weather
Some mornings it’s difficult to choose a jacket for the day. It may be cold and rainy at the moment but the forecast calls for unseasonably warm temperatures by midafternoon. So what do we pick? Thankfully, we’ve got a good selection of outerwear in our closet, so we opt for a waterproof shell and a lightweight fleece jacket, and we’re set for the day. The combination of the two will keep us warm and dry in the morning, and when the weather warms up, the fleece will be the perfect jacket for the afternoon. Learning to layer outerwear pieces can multiple our options when we’re preparing for all sorts of weather.
Let’s start with shells. They’re usually designed using lightweight man-made fibers to keep out wind and rain. Not all shells are waterproof. Some are water resistant, using a DWR, Durable Water Repellent finish. A well-made shell will also have sealed seams and a front zipper with a storm flap. The Patagonia Women's Torrentshell 3L Jacket is waterproof, hooded, has a breathable lining, zippered hand and interior pockets, and the jacket can be packed into its left handwarmer pocket for easy transport.
For days that are wet and cold, we add a fleece to the shell. The fleece creates a cushion of warm air around our arms and core that is protected from wind and rain by the shell. The Patagonia Women's Classic Synchilla Jacket is made with 100% recycled polyester fleece (good for the planet!) and fair trade sewn (good for people!). It also has zippered handwarmer and interior pockets. The flattering princess seams on front and back make it a favorite for cool days.
If we’re hiking or working outdoors, vests can be a good choice. Vests keep the core warm and allow the free movement of our arms. The North Face Women's ThermoBall Eco Vest 2.0 is lightweight and planet-friendly. ThermoBall insulation is made from 100% postconsumer polyester and retains its loft and traps heat even in damp weather. The vest, made of recycled nylon, has zippered pockets and packs into its interior pocket for storage or travel.
When it comes to a heavier “winter coat” there are several types to choose from.
Patagonia’s Men's Maple Grove Deck Jacket was made for work outdoors or for everyday wear. The 100% organic cotton garment-washed twill shell is lined with ¼ inch recycled polyester pile fleece and also has insulated sleeves with a recycled polyester taffeta lining. The collar is fleece trimmed and can be flipped up for extra warmth. There are lots of pockets including an interior zipped pocket and side entry, high front pockets for warmth. The cuffs are adjustable to provide a secure fit and retain warmth.
Insulated jackets are made for cold inclement weather. Look for a nylon shell with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) or a waterproof finish plus down or down-like insulation. Patagonia's Men's Downdrift Jacket is an excellent example. It's a retro-inspired 100% recycled down jacket made using reclaimed down products. The nylon shell is made of recycled fishing nets and has a DWR finish. The zipper is covered with a placket that snaps down and the bottom hem has a drawcord to help seal in warmth. There's also a removable hood that can be adjusted for a secure fit. Plus there are double entry patch front pockets to protect hands and a zippered interior pocket to keep valuables secure.
If you’re looking for layers that perfectly coordinate for cold weather, you’re in luck! There are several options from some of our favorite brands. Known as three-in-one jackets, they’re made up of an outer shell with a lining that can be zipped in or worn as a separate jacket. So it’s three jackets in one – a shell, a lined jacket and a lightweight jacket!
The Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka can be worn as a waterproof/breathable shell, an insulated jacket or an insulated parka. The waterproof shell is made with a recycled stretch twill with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish and a two-way zipper covered by a storm flap with snap closures. It includes an adjustable, removable hood, drop-in zippered handwarmer pockets with snapped flaps, two security chest pockets and adjustable cuffs with snaps. The zip-out jacket is made of 100% recycled polyester ripstop and attaches to the shell with front zippers and snap loops at the cuffs and the back of the neck. With the Tres 3-in-1 Parka, we're ready for a summer rainstorm and a winter blizzard!
The North Face Women's ThermoBall Eco Triclimate Parka is another 3-in-1 wonder with a rain jacket, a lightweight insulated jacket and when the two are combined, a parka for cold wintry weather. The outer shell is made of a waterproof, breathable material, with sealed seams, an exposed center zipper, and attached adjustable hood and cuffs. It also has a high-low hem, slits on the side seams for extra freedom of movement and reverse entry zippered secure hand pockets. The inner lightweight jacket has ThermoBall Eco insulation made of recycled polyester that acts like down for warmth. The cuffs are bound with elastic to help keep warmth in and drafts out. The inner jacket zips into outer shell to make a cozy parka. With the ThermoBall Eco Triclimate Parka you'll be ready for rain, cool days and nights, and even colder weather.
Here's the Patagonia Boys 4-In-1 Everyday Jacket. "4-in-1?" we hear you say. Yes! It's a rain jacket, an insulated zip-out jacket that's reversible, and when the shell and jacket are combined, a coat for cold weather! The hooded rain jacket shell is waterproof, breathable and made of 100% recycled polyester with a mesh lining and insulated sleeves. There are three zippered pockets including handwarmer pockets, and the cuffs and a drop-tail hem are adjustable for extra warmth. The zip-out jacket shell is made of 100% recycled polyester taffeta with a DWR finish, a stand up collar, two front pockets, and elastic at the cuffs and bottom hem. The zip-out jacket is lined with ¼ inch shearling pile fleece on the torso and taffeta on the sleeves. When reversed, fleece is on the outside for a more retro look. One jacket for practically all seasons. And remember, Patagonia kids' clothes are made to last and can be handed on to younger siblings.
So what’s in your closet? With a few well-chosen outerwear pieces you’ll be ready for just about any weather that Mother Nature sends your way.